Patil`s visit to take Indo-UAE ties to another level

President Pratibha Patil, who will begin her visit tomorrow, has said that the UAE and India have historical links as peoples of the two countries have criss-crossed the Arabian sea from time immemorial.

Last Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 18:18 PM IST

Dubai: Ahead of her visit to the UAE, President Pratibha Patil has said that India is committed to pursue a common strategic vision for promoting regional peace
and enhancement of its ties with the Gulf state in the fields such as economic, security and culture.

Patil, who will begin her visit tomorrow, has said that the UAE and India have historical links as peoples of the two countries have criss-crossed the Arabian sea from time
immemorial.

"We fondly recall the visit of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to India in 1975 and 1992. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited the UAE in 1981. My predecessor Dr Abdul Kalam also paid a successful visit to UAE in 2003," Patil said in an interview to UAE`s official news agency.

President Patil underscored that India is committed to pursue a common strategic vision for promoting regional peace and enhancement of the relations with the UAE in the
political, economic, security and cultural fields.

"During 2009-2010, the bilateral trade stood at USD 43 billion which makes UAE and India, the largest trading partners. The exports from India amounted to USD 24 billion
and imports from the UAE amounted to USD 19 billion....The trade volume is, therefore, substantial and more or less balanced. I feel that there is potential to expand the trade
further and our objective should be to reach a trade value of USD 100 billion in five years," she added.

A survey released earlier this year by UAE`s Ministry of Foreign Trade revealed that the investments of a group of large UAE companies in India reached 5.7 billion dirhams up
until the year 2009 accounting for 1.4 percent of the total foreign direct investments in India.

According to the survey, the UAE is the largest Arab country, and the 10th globally, in terms of the total FDI inflows into India.

Globally, it comes after Mauritius, Singapore, the USA, the UK, Holland, Japan, Turkey, Germany and France.

The report also showed that India is the UAE`s largest trade partner, while the UAE is the number one trade partner for Indian exports, and the second largest trade partner in
terms of Indian imports, coming in the second place after China.

The relationship was summed up by Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi who said: "India is our top foreign commercial partner while the UAE is India`s main commercial ally in the Middle East."

PTI